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Wheeler Mission celebrates 130 years of service

Wheeler Mission announced the creation of the Rick and Julie Alvis Legacy Fund, which has already received a pledge of $1 million from the largest single, non-estate donation in Wheeler Mission history.

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Wheeler Mission hosted its 130th-anniversary celebration. They honored the organization’s dedication to serving the homeless community throughout Indianapolis and Bloomington on Friday, Oct. 13.

Since 1893, Wheeler Mission has provided food, shelter and care to people experiencing homelessness. So far this year, Wheeler has served more than 9,000 individuals and provided more than 309,000 meals.

RELATED: Wheeler’s new CEO fell in love with organization’s DNA

Rick + Julie Alvis Celebration-129 copy Jamison Coler

The event program included a special honoring of Rick Alvis and Julie Alvis. They have been instrumental in the success of the mission.

Rick Alvis recently retired from the ministry after more than 32 years of service.

Wheeler Mission: Honoring Rick and Julie

During Rick’s tenure, it is estimated that over 5 million meals have been served; over 3 million nights of shelter have been provided; over 4,500 men and women have completed one of Wheeler Mission’s many residential programs.

The event emcee, Bill Stanczykiewicz, spoke about the importance of the Alvis legacy.

“Tonight is not only about celebrating Wheeler Mission’s 130th anniversary, and its legacy of serving the most vulnerable in Indianapolis, but it’s also about honoring two faithful servants,” said Stanczykiewicz.

“Rick and Julie leaned into each other and their faith in Christ to not only steward this great organization but also strengthen it.”

Wheeler Mission celebrates 130 years of service

As part of the celebration, Wheeler Mission announced the creation of the Rick and Julie Alvis Legacy Fund, which has already received a pledge of $1 million from the largest single, non-estate donation in Wheeler Mission history.

The Rick and Julie Alvis Legacy Fund has already accrued $1.4 million in committed funds, with a goal of $2.5 million to be committed by the end of this year.

President & CEO Perry Hines was hired after an extensive national search last year.

“Wheeler Mission has been part of the makeup of Indianapolis for 130 years,” Hines said.

“We led our homeless brothers and sisters through a great depression, two World Wars, the civil rights movement, and countless other seismic shifts in our world, country and community. Our commitment to our mission has never wavered, and we have a strong future ahead of us.”

After 130 years, Wheeler Mission has nine locations, dozens of ministries and a $22 million budget with more than 200 employees. 

Wheeler is the largest, oldest and most diverse ministry of its kind in the state of Indiana.

With the mission to serve every man, child and women in need, Wheeler is more than a shelter. Services include residential and addiction recovery programs and a social enterprise program that provides important job skills and leadership training.

For more information about the mission, please visit wheelermission.org.

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